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When his estranged brother dies suddenly, Jake Lever is confronted with an old Jewish custom. In days past, a man was expected to marry his deceased brother's childless widow, but it is now customary to perform a ceremony releasing the pair from the obligation. During the Halizah ceremony, Jake feels uncomfortable renouncing his brother's memory. Additionally, Leah wishes to escape the confines of her orthodox community and avoid her mother's matchmaking. On the spur of the moment, Leah and Jake decide to enter into a platonic marriage of convenience.Written by
The film follows the Jewish traditions quite faithfully, but there's no mention of Kaddish - a prayer in affirming God in honor of the dead. See more »
A sign outside the Reform synagogue says that the rabbi's name is Gerry, so there's no expectation that the synagogue will turn out to have a female rabbi. However, for Leah's mother, a glance at the synagogue's sign is enough to reveal that the rabbi is a woman. See more »
Okay, so it's a corny love story, but it's a pleasure to see a portrait of Jewish life
So "Loving Leah" is a little schmaltzy, even for a love story. I loved it anyway. It's a real pleasure to watch a movie that is respectful of Jewish customs and presents a non sensationalized, exploitative, or prejudiced view of Jewish religious practice. Usually the only portraits of Jewish life I see on TV are tragic stories set during the Holocaust or comedies. I appreciated that Leah's mother was strict and scared her daughter enough for her to put up a show of the pretend marriage, but ultimately she cared for Leah, wanted her to be happy, and encouraged her to go back and make up with Jacob, even if he wasn't Orthodox, and even if he and Leah would attend a Reform Temple with a woman rabbi. I appreciated that none of the characters were stereotypes or played for laughs. Well done Hallmark!
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